tv The Cycle MSNBC January 29, 2013 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
i believe we are finally in a moment where comprehensive immigration reform is within our grasp. but i promise you this. the closer we get, the more emotional this debate is going to become. immigration's always been an issue that enflames passions. that's not surprising. you know? there are few thing that is are more important to us as a society than who gets to come here and call our country home. who gets the privilege of becoming a citizen of the united states of america. that's a big deal. when we talk about that in the abstract, it's easy sometimes for the discussion to take on a feeling of us versus them. and when that happens, a lot of folks forget that most of us used to be them. we forget that.
it's really important for us to remember our history. you know? unless you're one of the first americans, a native american, you came from some place else. somebody brought you. ken salazar, he's of, you know, mexican american descent but he points out that his family is living where he is for 400 years so he didn't immigrate anywhere. the irish who left behind a land of famine, the germans who fled persecution, the scandinavians who arrived eager to pie out west, the polish, the russians,
the italians, the chinese, the japanese, the west indians, the huddled masses who came through ellis island on one coast and angel island on the other. all those folks before they were us, they were them. and when each new wave of immigrants arrived, they faced resistance from those who were already here. they faced hardship. they faced racism. they faced ridicule. but over time as they went about their daily lives, as they earned living, as they raised a family, as they built a community, as their kids went to school here, they did their part to build a nation.
they were the einsteins and the carnegies and women and men whose names history may not remember, but they are who we are, built this country hand by hand, brick by brick. they all came here knowing what makes somebody an american is not just blood or birth but allegiance to our founding principles. and the faith in the idea that anyone from anywhere can write the next great chapter of our story. and that's still true today. just ask alan alima. alan's here. where's alan? he's around -- there he is, right here.
now, alan was born in mexico. he was brought to this country by his parents when he was a child. growing up, alan went to an american school. pledged allegiance to the american flag. felt american in every way and he was except for one. on paper. in high school alan watched his friends come of age driving around town if their new licenses, earning some extra cash from their jobs at the mall. he knew he couldn't do those things. but it didn't matter that much. what mattered to alan was earning an education so that he could live up to his god-given potential. last year, when alan heard the news that we were going to offer a chance for folks like him to
emerge from the shadows, even if it's just for two years at a time, he was one of the first to sign up. and a few months ago, he was one of the first people in nevada to get approved. in that moment alan said, i felt the fear vanish. i felt accepted. so today alan's in a second year at the college of southern nevada. alan's studying to become a doctor. he hopes to join the air force. he's working hard every single day to build a better life for himself and his family. and all he wants is the
opportunity to do his part to build a better america. so in the coming weeks, as the idea of reform becomes more real, and the debate becomes more heated and there are folk who is are trying to pull this thing apart, remember alan. and all those who share the same hopes and the same dreams. remember that this is not just a debate about policy. it's about people. it's about men and women. and young people. who want nothing more than the chance to earn their way in to the american story. and throughout our history, that's only made our nation stronger. and it's how we'll make sure
that this century is the same as the last, an american century, welcoming of everybody who aspires to do something more. is willing to work hard to do it. is willing to pledge that allegiance to our flag. thank you. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. ♪ >> you just heard president obama announcing his plan for immigration reform and "the cycle" has it all covered. luke russert following reaction on capitol hill. we have also got janelle ross from "the huffington post." let's start with peter and the big takeaways here. >> reporter: as you heard, the president now shaking hands out here, this had the same impact of a campaign-style event for
this president. recognizes this is the first trip of his second term. he's really trying to deliver on that campaign promise of immigration reform to the community that helped deliver him, his re-election. the latino community. this is the state where 27% of the population is latino and he chose this as the backdrop to deliver the speech today. senior advisers say the intent of the very public campaign to put pressure on the republicans to see this thing through. to finally help pass a bipartisan bill on the issue of immigration. he focused on topics very similar to the ones heard from this president before. when's not changed is the language of this. what has changed is politics of it. specifically the fact that the president won with more than 17% of the latino vote and what the white house believes is what makes today and this new effort so different. >> yeah. luke, i mean, he talked, the president, there talked about a
genuine desire now to move on this. i guess i could see the genuine desire among republicans and running statewide and a particular liability for them if they don't address this issue but i think national journal today looked at the house republican conference, the average house republican member represents a more white district today than in 2006 and 2007 when this thing blew up. more than half of the republicans represent districts more than 80% white and wondering what's to prevent house republicans from revolting against any kind of deal like five or six years ago and blowing it up all over again? >> i think that the election results eastbound though as you mentioned, steve, a lot of these guys in safer districts than in the last election due to gerrymandering, whatnot, folks in the gop leadership very mindful to get on the right side of history with latinos. the fastest growing immigrant
group as we know and talking to boehner, cantor, mccarthy, they want the move forward on this and enough rank and file to realize they need to get in better with latino groups and would you have a same problem of house republicans curtailing a deal? probably not because if marco rubio is someone when's very well liked by a bunch of conservative house republicans, if they get something through the senate with rubio's name attached to it, it's difficult not to move forward and you have seen things over the last year, give you an example, the fiscal cliff deal, the way that passed out of the u.s. senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, went to the house and house republicans angry about it and wanted to stop it. guess what. they folded at the end. but i'm going back to something i mentioned yesterday. i think the whole game for this is two things. one, the president's speech right there sort of saying, look, i'll let congress work the will which is significant
because members in both chambers want that to happen. and then this idea of enforcement. they did an amazing thing on rush limbaugh. he made rush limbaugh come over to accept possible immigration reform. that is no easy task but what is -- how did he do that? making the case for enforcement. so what exactly is that enforcement mechanism that house republicans and conservative republicans and rush limbaughs of the world get on board with that's a final deal can liberals stomach that? that's something to pay attention to. >> right. when rubio was on limbaugh's show today, the red line he drew basically saying, democrats are out there saying that this commission that would be set up, to consist of southwest governors, other elected officials to declare the border secure before you move to green card, before you move to citizenship, there's democrats saying that would purely be an advisory thing and move to citizenship in spite of what
that panel recommends, rubio said the red line on limbaugh today, if that ends up being the approach, i walk away from this. conservatives and republicans walk away from this seems to me a huge potential stumbling block emerged there. >> right. that's what it is. what i said earlier, if rubio supports anything, goes through the house no problem. that enforcement mechanism is the entire game on this. what is it? drones? do we have a mote like herman cain said with alligators? what will be done for house republicans and folks to sign off on that? 20,000 troops alongside the border? we do not know and until that question is answered, this i think all this legislation is up in the air. however, again, compare that with the idea now that republicans from all stripes understand that history is not on their side with the issue of immigration because of how quickly latinos are growing in the united states. an enif they don't do anything,
they're going to completely get wiped out. they know and the senate and in nationally and presidential races and eventually in ten years if you have that broke, you could yet redistricted and then on the house and not to mention, texas become a swing state. so they realize they got to move on this or else they're going to be very, a party that shrinks a lot in the next decade. >> peter, have you heard from the white house or the administration anything in way of a response to those rubio rush limbaugh comments and that interview? >> well, we haven't heard a response to that interview specifically. marco rubio was a part of that eight-member bipartisan group of senators that spoke yesterday and the white house made it clear they were, quote, encouraged to hear that those individuals on the right were now coming toward the middle on this issue. the white house, s.e. feels confidently as the president is getting the roar of approval of
the largely latino crowd gathered here today and even a warning effectively saying if the senate plan fails, if the president will put a bill forward and they feel strongly that if that is voted down largely by republicans, that that will obviously just be a dramatically different thing for the party to overcome in the years ahead given the popularity of latinos in the country. >> bring in attorney raul reyes, a contributor to msnbc. number one thing the president says, raul, is enforcement and then a pathway to citizenship. we heard from the senators is a pathway to citizenship after the borders are secure. that's potentially impossible thing to quantify and we could have a sort of commission where you have someone like jan brewer sitting back and saying, borders aren't secure. no pathway. borders aren't still secure. no pathway. are you pessimistic about that part of it or optimistic at all? >> we still have yet to see all the details as has been mentioned but i'm optimistic.
we have to remember even department of homeland security secretary janet napolitano has said there's no way we can seal off our borders. that is not going to happen but having said that, you know, we have met many enforcement goals of 2010, the last time we tried immigration enforcement and also compared to 2007, the census bureau says there are actually 1 million less undocumented immigrants in the country now than then and i have to tell you, i have to say, this speech that the president gave today, this is the speech that so many latinos, so many hispanics and members of the immigrant community waiting for for since the first term, five years to lay it out and, you know, laid out what he believes in, on our side and ready to go to bat and deliver. >> and amazing, raul, as you're pointing out we have met the 2007 enforcement goals despite not having passed the legislation that we have also got janelle ross here covering immigration issues for
huffington post and one thing that's remarkable to me is previously republicans objected to anything classified as amnesty. they opposed the dream act because it's quote/unquote amnesty. are republicans changing their definition of what constitutes amnesty so that the amnesty is just a free ride with no sort of earned path? >> i think that it's possible that you're going to see people on both sides of the aisle avoid the term amnesty because it is so politically charged. but the idea that citizenship under any circumstances is a free path is just not accurate. the reality is that it's quite expensive at minimum and lengthy. so on average it's quite a lengthy process and once one becomes a legal permanent resident you have five to seven years to wait so i don't think that the idea that there is some sort of free and clear and easy sort of yellow brick road for people to move from undocumented
status to being american citizens is quite accurate. >> janelle, the republicans that i've talked to have actually been looking at the plan that came out of the senate and have said that all looks good. the problem is very few of them believe that sort of the meatier parts are going to be enforced. did you hear anything today from the president that you think maybe spoke to those concerns? >> he did speak at length about the idea or mentioned at least very clearly the idea of first requiring, establishing and requiring some sort of national system that employers can use to verify. >> right. >> the eligibility of applicants and we have had a long-running sort of pilot program of sorts where employers voluntarily use the program and has a number of flaws. and apparently more often seems to i guess give back false positives or rather indicate that women who have changed
their names, people who are naturalized u.s. citizens are now eligible to work so there are some kinks that have to be worked out but he did also make clear and something president obama said from the beginning of his term he believed that enforcement truly needed to focus on employers because this is the draw. >> right. >> and as our economy recovers, that draw will exist again. it's certainly worth noting that the recession likely had a lot to do with some of the changes and the number of undocumented immigrants in this country and the number of people attempting to enter the country illegally. having said that, i think to his point about trying to crack down on employers and i guess ramp up enforcement, via fees, i would imagine would be quite frightening for businesses and industry that is are heavily dependent on undocumented workers. >> luke, you know, i remember quite clearly ann coulter
commenting a while back after health care immigration was the big issue that conservatives needed to focus on because, quote, if the entire country goes the way of california republicans will never be able to win a national election again. i understand the political reality that republicans feel like they have got to get this issue off the table if they make any inroads with latinos but is there also a fear among republicans that if you do have a pathway to citizenship for 11 million new people those are 11 million new people, 70% of which may be voting democratic? >> oh, sure. i definitely think there are folks within the house republican conference and the senate republican conference that do fear that, oh sure, if you let all latinos come over here they'll be democratic. statistics show us some people vote the way of hair parents or voted twice that way they continue their life and the
overwhelming majority within both chambers is the idea that, look, we believe in republican principles enough that we think that we can extend them to latinos. we believe that latinos receptive to how we view family values and receptive to viewing the issue of taxes. we believe that latinos receptive to sort of how we view the idea of social values and social justice and the church and whatnot. so i for from the conversations i have had i think there's more this idea to either try two ways which is, you know, deny, deny, deny, deny and hold on to the bitter end or embrace and sort of reform ourselves and the party and a chance to live longer and you see guys like rubio involved with this, you have guys like boehner in leadership, i'm sure mcconnell at the end of the day. the folks with a long-term vision. recantor talked about the idea
of the folks that get graduate degrees in the united states and not able to keep the visas? we need more high-skilled workers and enough of those folks within the republican party that want to see this, move it forward because they believe that their brand can appeal to the latino group and some day make them republican voters, consistently. >> raul, let's bring you back in. i noticed there's two group of people singled out not to have go to the back of the line. agriculture al workers and brilliant engineers. high-skilled engineers. every nation in the world wants them to come in to the country but the agricultural workers when american unemployment is very high, what does that say to you, they're singled out. is that the power of the food industry, americans don't want to do those jobs but we need them done? >> exactly. >> what does that do to the culture of people who want to
come in to this country? >> it recognizes reality. we have an agricultural industry and a service industry with a tremendous need for this lower skilled labor and right now immigration system is just not set up to have those needs be met. so the problem down the line is that any time you start talking about a guest worker program, it's very tricky because there's a great potential for exemployeeation of these workers and then situation of guest workers here and might not want to go back so it's a tricky situation and what the president is trying to balance here is, yes, the interests of the agricultural industry and significant and one more point when you talk about having to go to the back of the line, i want to remind people. i know this as an immigration attorney. the line is huge. for instance, if you are coming from mexico legally and you go through all the procedures and qualify to be a citizen, that takes on average 17 years so if we're talking about everyone going to the back of the line,
we are talking about people possibly waiting two decades for citizenship. we need to not only adjust our immigration system, but need to expand the numbers of visas available so we don't have a tremendous backlog. >> and help me understand one other thing. talking about 17 years to citizenship. and you got to pay back taxes. that seems fair. when we're talking about poor people, how do you come up with back taxes? supposed to bank in the united states while you're doing that? are you supposed to bank in mexico? and transfer the money to the united states when you're about to become a citizen? how do you manage that? >> that's very difficult to figure out an i can tell you most of the undocumented people here who are living and working among us, they're the vast majority of them are living very close to subsistence levels and the fines, the level of which they're set could be critical how successful the program is going to be, whether or not people can actually afford to meet these. and by the way, in terms of
taxes, most immigrants pay -- most undocumented immigrants pay taxes and sales taxes of course. >> luke, i'm still thinking about these republican house members that represent district that is are not changing demographically like the rest of the country is and the average income does not have to respond. you know? and i'm wondering, you can make the case from the standpoint of boehner or mccarthy or cantor, yes, this is something the party needs to do to move forward and maybe a long term future but for the short term political survival, the primary in arkansas or mississippi or south carolina, when's the message that a cantor or mccarthy gives to the incumbent in one of the districts that, hey, safe to vote for something that your opponent will call amnesty? >> if there's a bipartisan bill
out of the senate that boehner would put it on the floor, perhaps violate the hastert rule and go forward with what i like to call the tom cole caucus and the last pseudomoderates republicans left, about 60 of them left. pair them with democrats, there's a way forward. another group to mention that is very receptive to immigration reform within the house republican conference and republican party is a lot of very rich corporate republicans because guess what. i have seen folks come here on capitol hill of texas, arizona, california, rich business men who want those migrant workers because they need them in order to continue making their millions. that would be a strong push. chamber of commerce, they push on there. there will be a way forward from this in the house if there's a bipartisan bill in the senate and my guess is that boehner would allow those members to vote against it vote against it and try to rummage up the votes
to move forward. you most likely get a significant amount of democrats and very good point. and unless there's this end all be all enforcement mechanism to agree on, you lose a lot of house republicans on this and this is -- that's what ended up killing the bill in 2007. with president bush. the conservative rebellion against it saw in the united states senate and house, you were around. trent loath cited what happened there in 2007 when republicans rejected bush's immigration plan as one of the reasons he left the senate. this could come back and bite them in the next few months. >> luke, never matters whether steve was around or not. he knows everything that happened there. >> history. he did okay. opinioning the can of worms for
us, luke. thanks, luke. raul and janelle. stay with us. we'll spin about it and tony schafer's here with the unique perspective on border security. much more next. >> if we're truly committed to strengthening our middle class and providing more ladders of opportunity to those who are willing to work hard to make it in to the middle class, we have to fix the system. we have to make sure that every business and every worker in america is playing by the same set of rules.
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that could harm them for decades to come from something republican party leaders i think all realize has to happen here. can they get the rank and file to go along? i was checking twitter in the break that caught my attention. one of the leaders in the house, one out leaders of the conservative movement who helped kill immigration reform in 2006, 2007 is steve king from iowa. he's had some pretty harsh things to say about immigrants in the years and now an open senate seat in iowa thanks to the retirement of tom harkin and the point of questions asking luke in the last segment was, there is a difference of republicans running statewide where there is a real stigma to be a nativist and republicans running in the safely republican districts where the biggest threat is a challenge of the right. steve king is suddenly making noises we have never heard him make in his life about how, you know, maybe he might be open to this idea of comprehensive immigration reform.
not an endorsement but movement and shows you the tension that exists where i can totally see something through the senate here and i think what luke said at the end there, if something gets through the house, it's a new model seeing where a majority of republicans in the house recognize it needs to go through and should go through but a majority will not be able to vote for it and come up and 50 republicans will vote yes. the rest will vote no and democrats will -- >> you predict it not working in the snous. >> will get through with a democratic votes. we broke the hastert rule. >> it is also -- i mean, hearing someone like steve king maybe change his tone is also leadership maybe doing its job and infiltrating the market. putting out people like marco rubio to talk about immigration in palatable ways. amnesty means you have to apologize for something and that's a messaging thing that might be trickling down even to the local guys who could probably vote very safely
against it and not deal with any consequences. >> talking about that messaging that's perhaps why rubio on rush limbaugh radio show today of all places talking to the rank and file. you talked about polling, running in virginia and finding out the deep level of passion that people have about this, especially republican voters and talking about race is a zero sum game and people feeling something is taken away from them, a lot of people feel like what am i losing in this? people getting the pathway to citizenship and why everybody has to talk about enforcement first, tough on them first and then give them something to stick before the carrot but it's going to be very difficult. i think the leaders of the republicans clearly see demographics as destiny and article in "the new yorker" talking about texas could go purple but are the rank and file getting behind that? i wonder. >> they need a key in the house. >> to your point, toure, that
has been used by republicans as a turnout machine basically to stoke fear and get their people to the polls and it's been very successful in a lot of elections. i'm sure it will be hard for a lot of in particular members of the house republican caucus to give that up. and i do think that the idea of the sort of vote no hope yes model you are talking about here used in the fiscal cliff deal, it's treacherous because if you have most of the rank and file voting against the bill then you have a real opportunity for those who do vote for the bill to be labeled as rhinos, primaried by the tea party, by the club for growth and taken out and punished for support of this so i do think even though, you know, something may pass with the democratic majority support i think those folks who are in the republican caucus and willing to vote across the aisle it's quite treacherous for them. >> i think what you are saying tells you about the strain of
nativism that's still resonant to a significant portion of the right. i accept and i just bet right now i bet we get some kind of -- >> let's not say a significant portion of the right. that's a little -- >> a significant enough portion in a lot of house disfrikts a majority of republicans in the house will probably end up voting no on whatever the final -- but the point i'm trying to get to is this. we're talking about this in terms of long term future of the republican party and coming off the disaster of 2008 -- the disaster of 2012 and repairing the image with the latino community and thinking of the republican party's relationship with black voters. >> yep. >> post-1964 when republicans nominated an anti-civil rights candidate. never again made that mistake. for civil rights. totally on board and never purged from their ranks, they never purged a message that was very -- that really turned off
black voters, they never exceeded 20% with the black vote even after 1964 and even if you pass comprehensive immigration reform, you have to get rid of the nativism, too. >> you don't have to go back that far. since 1980, the white percentage of the electorate shrinking year after year and heading to a black and brown majority in 2050. you cannot win national elections feeling hostile to black and brown people and trying to redress. the devil's in the details. what is a jan brewer when we get down to the border commission? what are they going to do? what are they going to see? seeing that then we'll know what people are going to feel about this. >> i think it is remarkable and we should note how dramatic the turnaround has been on this issue. as recently as the campaign for president, mitt romney had to advocate self deportation and attack rick perry from the right and newt gingrich from the right on immigration to get through
the republican primary. was that strictly necessary or not? he said he would veto the dream act and seems extreme in retrospect. was that necessary to get through the republican primary? we don't know but he felt it was necessary at that moment and remarkably right after election day, we now have rush limbaugh sort of saying, maybe i'd be open to something right after election day. >> we had sean hannity, as well. >> we have to change. it is amazing to note how quickly the turnaround on this issue has come. >> you see, too, there's this hysterical list of things don't to say. don't say anchor babies anymore and we have to tell people the things to not say and not offend hispanic and latino americans. like that's hysterical to me. >> well yeah. look. there's going to be a change here. as i said, i would expect some kind of comprehensive reform. the question for republicans, it's clearly necessary. will it be sufficient long term? >> 2004 republicans got nearly
half of the hispanic vote. there's plenty of opportunity there. >> imagine how much different the last decade would have been if nativism hadn't taken hold. >> not just messaging but george w. bush did toward latino community was much more open, acceptable, much more sort of embracing and what we have had since then, totally different. >> bush saw it, rove saw it, mccain saw it. will the republicans in the house see it now? that's what i'm curious about. could america's longest war provide a long-term solution on border security? tony schafer is in the guest spot stlaraight ahead. >> the good news is that for the first time in many years republicans and democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together. this moment, it looks like there's a genuine desire to get this done soon. and that's very encouraging.
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now during my first term we took steps to try to patch up some of the worst cracks in the system. first, we strengthened security at the borders so that we could finally stem the tide of illegal immigrants. we put more boots on the ground, on the southern border than at any other time in our history and today illegal crossings are down nearly 80% from their peak in 2000. >> we just heard the president's immigration plan, a key difference between his and that bipartisan senate proposal is making the path towards citizenship hinge on a, quote, secure border. but what exactly does that entail and how do we go about doing it? joining us now to discuss the changes to set the immigration plan in motion is lieutenant colonel anthony schafer. tony, when we talk about increasing security at the
borders, i'm hearing things like drones at the border. what are we actually talking about here? >> we are talking about something to be established as a standard both sides agree upon because one man's secure boarder is another man's iron curtain. we have to be careful. but the bottom line is this. i'm not anti-immigration. i'm anti-fiery deaths of our citizens and something to deal with. it's not only the criminal element that hides itself within the context of crossing the border but the folks we are worried about, terrorists that exist out there. this is where national security tom comes together with homeland security and do we want to depend on deck no long? we depended on that under the bush white house. it was rejected pretty much by everybody. the solutions didn't really please a lot of people. we tried the wall a little bit. not working so well in some
spots. some others it's going pretty good and learned from afghanistan. ground sensors, drones. all those technologies are coming home and we need to a place to put the technology and this may be a use for the troops that could go down there as they have been guarding the border for a couple of years. >> lieutenant colonel, i want to ask you your personal repons to the things you heard today and the movement of a pathway to citizenship for a lot of immigrants because you talk about in your e-mail to us, your family emigrated here at the turn of the last century, the fernandez family coming here. this is personal for you, as well. you remember in terms of your cultural history of your family coming here. >> i do. and my family took a job in central, southern kansas, cherriville and a copper smelter and i understand based on my experience there's a great desire to come here but we need to look at from the perspective who do we bring here and why?
new zealand you have to have thousands of dollars to become a citizen there and other places why people want to come here and not so much it's bad but culturally, some places have real problems. governance is bad and south america, for example, that's where foreign policy comes in to it. we have to work with governments to make things better in their own countries and an investment of soft power looking at sequestration and look at when's important. border, working with allies to stop certain terrorist acts and using soft influence to make things better for folks in latin america. >> colonel, ronald reagan promised border security and i think a lot of republicans feel a little disillusioned about that. and when you talk about our allies -- >> right. >> -- obvious to the south, mexico, on the board and brian terry, what are the kinds of things we should be asking of mexico?
what are the kinds of solutions we should be looking to mexico to bring to the table to solve a mutual problem? >> glad you brought that up. my next book, it comes out in june, we talk about regarding criminal and terrorist activity and what should be done by the friendly governments. frankly, they have to do more to help their people want to stay in mexico and the other countries further down and a huge drug problem that continues. the war on drugs has not worked well. i worked that become in the 1990s and trying to stop zones in a transit zone, latin america up to our border and we have to look at the allies to help them solve their own problems and ultimately helps us solve our own problems but reagan got a promise of securing the border. it did not happen. and now the question becomes, what is the standard that both sides can agree upon to become the standard for securing the border? >> well yeah. that's my question to you, tony. looks like the stumbling block already in the senate plan and
what president obama laid out today. >> right. >> where okay, we can start the pathway to citizenship if this panel to consist of governors of border states down to the southwest and others down there in the southwest, we are talking about like jan brewer, rick perry, people like this, if they declare the border secure and as toure said, if they're in the mood to, they could say not secure, not secure. what in your mind is a fair standard to make a secure border? >> two things. i think we have to as you already pointed out and talked about by the other panels, find a way to basically make sure the people here are on a path to citizenship. bring families over in a controlled way. bring the families over. great idea. you control it. you don't fight it. >> okay. >> so i'm sorry to interrupt. part of declaring the border secure is having in place already the path to citizenship. is that what you're saying? >> right. i'm saying that you have to have control the fact that families want to come.
deal with that right up front or they try to sneak across. you have to accept that. what w that said, look at technology, what has worked and then figure out away to make people come across to track who comes across. i think this is something that's imperative and don't forget i didn't talk -- didn't talk about the northern border which ain't much better in many ways and we have to look at this as a comprehensive issue. >> tony schafer, thank you as always. >> great, thank you. up next, what the la the i no community is feeling about the president's proposal and is anything actually going to get done? stay with us. >> this is not just a debate about policy. it's about people. it's about men and women and young people who want nothing more than the chance to earn their way in to the american story. [ male announcer ] red lobster is hitting the streets
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based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away. [ cheers and applause ] >> we're back with more on the president's immigration proposal. raul, part of this is what's going on in mexico, a very difficult place to live for many people economically. the crime rate there is very difficult as well. do we also need to do something to help mexico to make that a better place for people to live so that so many people won't be dying to come here? >> actually in fact right now the mexican economy has been strengthening and my certain measurements their economy is actually in terms of growth doing better than ours which is in part one of the reasons why illegal immigration has slowed and at the same time simultaneously the birth rate in mexico has also dropped. so there are some factors already in play that may help that come about naturally, but i do think, yes, long term we need to be thinking about that. but right now i think our focus should be on working with our own system and fixing it.
>> so janel, we have seen the senate proposal, heard what obama had to say today. we know that a lot of house republican leaders want to move this thing along. we also know from history that there's going to be an awful lot of resistant from sort of rank and file conservatives in the house. try to project this out for us. are you optimistic that something meaningful is ultimately going to come of this? >> i would say that will trust my sources and what people are telling me is that it's quite likely that there will be a very narrow margin of victory for this legislation, that there will be somehow a coalition of republicans who are very business-friendly, those who are a bit more moderate, and democrats can come together and pass this thing out of the house. i think the senate looks a lot more certain. that said, you know, the dream act when it failed in 2010 failed by just the narrowest margins, so anything is possible. >> and, janel, i think that a lot of people want to see also
in whatever plan is implemented ways that incentivize legal immigration, that make legally immigrating easier -- not easy, but easier than illegally immigrated. so it's not just addressing what we do with illegal immigrants. it's what we do to make legal immigration more incentivized. what have you heard coming out of either the house working group plan, the senate plan, president obama's plan, that looks to address that hole? >> i think there is some discussion certainly about just, as you said, facing sort of the realities of the way that our actual legal immigration system works. i think that raul made an extremely important point that really has to be reinforced right now. if you live in mexico and you want to come to this country legally, that is a nearly 20-year process. it is part of what makes the system dysfunctional. so i think certainly i think there are some people who are pushing very hard for increased
resources for the agencies that control immigration. uscis, et cetera, that just process the applications, do those background checks. i also think that there are some real discussions that are happening right now about the possibility of creating more visas. it is worth noting that right now every year the united states makes available 120,000 visas for adults who would like to come to this country to live and work. that may sound like a relatively large figure but when you really think about that, 120,000 visas for the entire country each year. so, you know, certainly i think that's going to be a focus area in terms of gist the shejust th number of visas that are issued. >> raul, give us some of your personal reflections on the president's speech today. >> i thought he hit all the right notes. when he talked about erasing the divide between them and us. he talked about the undocumented
being americans except they don't have the papers. that's the language that dreamers used. now it's bm mainstream. he also threw down a challenge saying if they -- if the senate cannot get their bill passed, he will introduce his own. so that's a challenge. game on. >> raul reyes, janel ross, thanks for being here this hour. we're back with more after this. ? by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. that's the language that we're back with more after this. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
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